For lovers of the wee white ball, 2014 is going to be a pretty special year in Scotland as the Ryder Cup returns to the Home of Golf for the first time since 1973.
On September 26 next year, Team America will attempt to regain the famous trophy that Europe secured in a drama-packed last day at Medinah, Illinois in 2012.
To mark the Year to Go countdown this week, Ryder Cup captains Paul McGinley and Tom Watson boarded a specially commissioned steam train in Edinburgh en route to The Gleneagles Hotel, where next year’s competition will take place. They were joined by celebrity ambassadors actor James Nesbitt, JLS star Marvin Humes and ex-footballers Alan Hansen and Ruud Gullit on board the train that was built in 1927, the year of the first Ryder Cup.
At Gleneagles, McGinlay and Watson were joined on the PGA Centenary Course by sixteen lucky junior golfers representing the uniquely successful ClubGolf programme. The youngsters – a boy and a girl from each of Scotland’s eight regions – experienced a once-in-a-lifetime chance to play with the captains as part of a special event marking the legacy of The 2014 Ryder Cup.
Later, over 1000 people joined the captains at Perth Concert Hall for an up-close-and-personal Q&A session. The evening offered fans, both in the hall and via Twitter, the chance to quiz the captains on a wide range of topics ahead of next year’s event.
It was a great night and as European captain McGinlay said,’there’s a tremendous excitement already around The Ryder Cup with a year to go – you can only imagine what it will be like when we get to next September.’